For nonprofits, donors are the lifeblood of your mission. After all, they’re the people funding it. So, it’s no surprise, according to NonProfitPRO’s 2019 Leadership Impact Study, that 82% of nonprofits are using technology to improve their donor relationships and 52% are using it for donor management.
When kept current and accurate, data can be leveraged to inform critical decision-making for the entire organization. That’s why most nonprofits rely on donor database software — also known as nonprofit constituent relationship management or CRM software. This type of software stores your donor data in one centralized location, helping you to better manage and make sense of all the information.
Because donations are just the tip of the iceberg
Even the most basic donor management platforms can track donations, donor details and more. Depending on your software, it may also have built-in features that are designed to help build on the data you already have. It may even come equipped with fundraising features, helping to automate cumbersome tasks. At the end of the day, your software should make information accessible and readable, so you can easily address donor challenges, streamline the solicitation process and develop a sound strategy for effective communication.
Try the following best practices to optimize your data management and build stronger supporter relationships:
Create comprehensive profiles
To best engage with your supporters, ensure that your donor profiles contain all the essentials — and more. You should already have their full name, email address, mailing address, phone number and birthday. But having a broader picture of who your donors are and how they can impact your mission can help you create better strategies to support them. That means collecting supplementary data such as:
- General interests
- Employment details
- Social media profiles
Track supporter engagement styles
Pay attention to how your donors are interacting with your nonprofit. When you can pinpoint the areas of engagement, you can better nurture those relationships and develop future plans to engage. You should have separate strategies in place for how they’re involved:
- Event sponsors
- Event guests
- Membership program participants
- Peer-to-peer fundraisers
- Social ambassadors
Roll out smarter fundraising appeals
A donor’s giving history can be invaluable when it comes to planning your next ask. When you’re armed with a donation amount, payment type and donation channel, you can use this information to:
- Be realistic about the donation amount you’re soliciting
- Share the impact of past gifts
- Promote the gift-giving channels you know donors are likely to use
- Inspire them to give more by showing how a small increase could make a huge impact
Tailor your outreach
You want to stay in touch often — even when your donors are not signing a check. But too much communication can be annoying. And messages may be overlooked altogether if they’re sent through the wrong channel. That’s why it’s critical to update your donor profiles with data such as:
- Preferred communication channel
- Communication frequency
- Programs or opportunities of interest
Integrate online forms
The benefit of an integrated form-builder? The data will automatically flow through your database and update your donor profiles — so you can spend less time inputting data and more time putting it to use. These forms include:
- Event registration
- Volunteer sign-up
- Membership applications
To connect with donors personally, fundraise successfully and expand your mission, you need a donor management strategy that maximizes your data, along with the technology to support that strategy. But remember, don’t opt for a shiny new toy without ensuring that it’s right for your organization in a way that supports your overall mission and your goals.
Learn more about how Magone & Company helps nonprofits find financial clarity and maximize support for their mission.